8600 Old Georgetown Road | Bethesda, MD 20814

New Directions

Issue: Winter 2009 - 2010

New Addiction Treatment Program Helps Patients with Co-Occurring Disorders

Beth Kane Davidson is Director of the Addiction Treatment Center at Suburban Hospital.

Individuals who are struggling with an alcohol or other drug addiction along with a mental health disorder now have someplace to turn thanks to the launch of Suburban Hospital's dual diagnosis program.


"The dual diagnosis program demonstrates the successful integration of two separate disciplines: substance abuse treatment and mental health treatment," says Beth Kane Davidson, director of Suburban Hospital's Addiction Treatment Center. "The need for this type of program is evidenced by the fact that there are more than 30 individuals currently enrolled, the majority of whom are struggling with alcoholism along with depression or anxiety."


Patients who enter the program receive a comprehensive evaluation, at which time staff determine what level of care and what additional support services they need. Patients then begin an intensive outpatient program involving group meetings that are co-facilitated by an addiction specialist and a licensed clinical social worker. All patients are followed by a primary counselor as well as a psychiatrist, and access to other specialists is provided as needed.


"We are proud to offer this uniquely specialized program for dual diagnosis at Suburban Hospital," says Dr. Harry Gill, medical director of behavioral health services. "We work with our patients to explore the factors that trigger abuse by addressing issues such as loneliness, early trauma, social anxiety, as well as complex psychiatric conditions."


Upon completion of the intensive group program, patients are transitioned into a continuing care group that meets regularly. For those patients who may need to be stabilized in a more intensive environment, the Addiction Treatment Center facilitates an inpatient hospitalization that includes participation in group therapy sessions.


"The recovery discussion group has been especially beneficial," says Ellen, a current participant. "Group members share their challenges, responses and results, which helps me to see my addiction through a host of new lenses and to develop the tools I need to deal with my alcoholism. I am grateful for this opportunity."


The dual diagnosis program is often covered by insurance and payment plans are available.  


FOR MORE INFORMATION | To learn more or to schedule an evaluation, call the director, Beth Kane Davidson, at 301-896-6608.

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